Researchers experimenting on mice found that Lactobacillus—the probiotic commonly found in yogurt—may help reduce depressive symptoms in reaction to chronic stressors. But human studies have found mixed results.
Nature magazine reports on recent discoveries by neuroscientists that microbes that live in the intestinal track may have an influence on brain development and behavior. “Researchers have drawn links between gastrointestinal pathology and psychiatric neurological conditions such as anxiety, depression, autism, schizophrenia and neurodegenerative disorders—but they are just links.”
Probiotics have certainly become quite the rage across the world for the treatment of all kinds of ailments from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to infectious diarrhoea to stress to low mood. Some might say that the enthusiasm has been rather slow to develop. Recently, the popular press has propagated the idea that probiotics are the next antidepressants.